A popular spice of our time, the cayenne pepper is known to cause a fiery sensation in your mouth that lingers for hours. The heat comes from an alkaloid called capsaicin. This spicy little red pod has been around since 5200 BC where it was discovered as one of the first spices used worldwide. Not only does this ingredient add flavor to dishes such as curries or Mexican cuisine like salsa verde; its medicinal qualities also include easing pain caused by arthritis and menstrual cramps among other ailments.
Flavor profile: hot, pungent
Used in: curries, stews, salsa verde
Health benefits: antioxidants, aids digestion, ease arthritis pain, relieve menstrual cramps